The corporate giant, Walmart, has long been on Sen. Bernie Sander’s radar.
He has been an advocate for their employees and has been pushing for both increased wages and benefits, as well as a place on the board.
On Wednesday, Sanders took the fight to their doorstep by attending their annual meeting. There he introduced a proposal regarding the shareholders.
With this proposal, the companies nearly 1.5 million hourly workers would be eligible for board nominations, having more of a say in their company’s future and how they are treated.
The Walton family, descendants of Sam Walton, currently hold the majority of Walmart’s shares and strongly oppose Sander’s proposal.
Sanders claims that with this shareholder proposal, “Walmart can strike a blow against corporate greed and a grotesque level of income and wealth inequality that exists in our country.”
He went on to say, “Frankly, the American people are sick and tired of subsidizing the greed of some of the largest and most profitable corporations in this country.”
He also noted that many Walmart employees have no other choice than to take part in public assistance programs such as Medicaid.
He pushes Walmart, and other similar corporate giants, to do something about this, starting with making the minimum wage $15 per hour.
And Walmart isn’t the only company on his hit list. Amazon has already taken his advice and upped their minimum wage due to Sanders’ constant forcefulness on the issue.
Similarly, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, from Massachusetts, has also made a stand against corporate America.
She has put her sights on companies such as Apple, Amazon, and Monsanto, pushing to allow their boards to be made up of at least 40% employees.
And while these proposals may advocate for the working class, Sanders and Warren aren’t missing out on this opportunity to separate themselves from other presidential candidates for 2020, like former Vice President Joe Biden, whose own campaign shies away from such hostile relationships with corporate America.
Walmart had hoped that Sanders, who confirmed his attendance to the meeting last month, would not use this stop as part of his campaign.
Instead, they wished he would see it “as a constructive opportunity to learn about the ways we’re working to provide increased economic opportunity, mobility and benefits to our associates.”
Wednesday’s meeting gave Sanders’ the floor to show his support for would-be voters who can push his campaign forward, all while teaching them he is willing to stand up to leaders like Walmart’s CEO, Doug McMillon.
And his efforts were awarded the fanfare of protestors outside the meeting.
These came from groups that have long wanted a seat on the board and now hold up signs calling for needed changes like the call for a higher minimum wage, as well as Bernie for president.
So far, the support of candidates like Sanders and Warren has also been given to workers on strike at numerous companies, such as grocery food chain, Stop & Shop.
Results of the shareholder vote were expected later in the day.